Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Friday the 13th

You will soon notice that I have a thing for horror movies, specifically the slasher genre. So naturally I took to the cinema last Friday to view the latest in my favorite slasher series. Jason Voorhees, with the ominous hockey mask and aversion to any means of death, has long been a favorite of mine. Michael Myers was a silent, gentle killer, Freddy Krueger was loud and obnoxious, Jason is vicious, positively vicious.

To prep myself for the new Friday the 13th I Netflixed part IV and part VII, two of my favorites from the series(with part III close behind). These movies, although deeply flawed with terrible dialog and wooden acting, had a special charm, and Kane Hodder was especially good behind the mask in Part VII.
But, I digress, the first thing I noticed about this new movie was the dialog. The college kids talked like college kids, when they drank, they actually acted drunk, when they got high, they actually acted as if they were high. So many movies have their actors overact everything while drunk and underact everything while high.
Another positive was that these were actually actors and actresses I recognized, very few in the previous movies (Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover and Kevin Bacon) actually had a career. Friday the 13th movies used to be for terrible actors looking for work. Now, with horror movies booming, people are actually choosing to take on these roles.
This isn't to say there is deep character development, in a 90 minute movie centered around killing, you don't have a lot of time for that. But the stoner was a good stoner, the jerk was a good jerk, the hero was a good hero and the rest were believable until they got wacked.
It was funny. Legitimately funny, with lines that you actually remember. Some movies you can tell the cast enjoyed themselves, and this was one of them, nothing was awkward, it was natural.
Now, my gripes...

I didn't like Jason's complicated tunnel system, where did this come from? This was supposed to be a vacation spot with cabins, not an underground mine shaft.
And you are telling me nobody boarded up Jason's old house after his mother died? Nobody got rid of his bed? Auctioned off the belongings of the home?
Jason doesn't keep prisoners, I don't care how much they remind him of his mother. How does keeping captain someone who looked like a younger version of his mother satisfy him? The mother he knew was far older than that and psychologically doesn't fill that "I miss mommy" void.
The last line "Jason, its time to meet Mommy! In hell!" was cringe worthy, and a big cringe at that.
The opening scene, while entertaining, lasted too long and the rest of the movie felt rushed. We meet all these characters and all but one are brutally murdered.
Yeah, the old sleeping bag murder, you know they have zippers on the inside of sleeping bags as well, was she so paralyzed with fear she couldn't move?
The early Friday the 13th movies used to excell at something utterly lost in film today: single extended shots. In an era of quick cuts and tight shots, its nice to watch those old scenes where the director let the camera roll and left the actors with the responsibility to put the scene together. Although this version used the "Camera comes up from behind the unsuspecting character" that was a staple of all the movies, the only action was the movement of the camera as the character sat blindly awaiting their death. I would've liked the filmmakers to harken back to the old days for just one extended shot.

Overall, it was highly enjoyable, I would've liked more creative deaths rather than the machete, I thought the arrow through the boat drivers head was a nice touch. But it was too much machete work from a guy who made his name shooting harpoon guns and popping eyeballs out. Maybe after seeing My Bloody Valentine 3-D my expectations for creative deaths are just way too high. This is a good popcorn flick, good to see in a theater with the right audience, or good to put on at a party.

No comments:

Post a Comment